We recently visited one of our Customers in Switzerland, who bought our USBL Navigation System ZIMA and uWave micromodems.
This time our Customer is a team of Swiss scientists working on the project “Distributed 3D Environmental Sensing with a Team of Underwater Robots” and they need our devices for more accurate research results.
At the meeting our engineer, who also acted as an interviewer, Alexander Dikarev, asked several questions to Anwar Quraishi a post-graduate student at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) – a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Alexander: How did you know about our company?
Anwar: I have found information on UCNL through a contact attending the meeting on Leman-Baikal project in 2018. After that I have found similar devices on the platform geo-matching.com under DiveNET brand. For us it is much easier to buy from a US-based supplier.
Alexander: What equipment do you use and what tasks do you solve with it?
Anwar: We intend to use Microlink/uWave underwater acoustic modems to transmit telemetry data from our AUVs (read more about the project is on EPFL website). We are also planning to use Commander/ZIMA USBL navigation system to perform tracking of our AUVs.
Alexander: How did you choose specific equipment for your tasks?
Anwar: We had many conversations with both DiveNET and UCNL engineers. They proposed a wide list of options, and by iterating we came to the most efficient way to perform the tasks in our specific conditions.
Alexander: What experiments have you already conducted and what results did you get?
Anwar: For now, we have performed series of tests using Microlink/uWave underwater acoustic modems in Lake Geneva or le Léman to estimate the impact of our specific conditions on the communication quality. It turns out, that communication mostly worsens in the extremely shallow water. For example, when we tried to establish the connection between two modems submerged just 20-30 centimetres, the communication range was around 20-25 meters. Of course, these are severe conditions for any underwater acoustic system, and we’ve got far better results in terms of distance when modems were submerged a little bit deeper than 1.5-2 meters. We haven’t yet run any tests to achieve maximum communication range which should be up to 1 km, but we are already planning to carry them out.
Alexander: Have you used AUVs/ROVs in the course of your tests or engaged divers?
Anwar: On the current stage of our project we use a “fleet” of small surface RC boats with our AUVs.
Alexander: How would you rate our tech support service?
Anwar: It surprisingly good for such a small company. We’re moving forward with our project (in terms of integrating underwater acoustic systems) pretty fast thanks to guys from DiveNET and UCNL. They are very responsible, always trying to do their best and in my opinion definitely love their job.